Satellite Technology Makes Damage Assessment Data Available Real Time by Mike Mitchell

The American Red Cross is using new technology that combines the accuracy of satellites with the power of smart phones to collect damage assessment data for real time analysis.  A new system being used for the second time ever, Survey123, is being deployed to speed up Hurricane Matthew relief efforts. 

A damage assessment team deploys to the affected area and enters the extent of damage for each residents address into their smart phone, which captures their exact location using satellite technology, and uploads the information to a national database before they move next door, to the next residence.  The information in the national database is immediately available for management analysis.

Terry Kornahrens, a 42 year volunteer from N. Charleston, SC, who is leading damage assessment in district 2, said “This will help us determine where to focus our resources and speed up delivery of client assistance”.   

Survey123 was first used a couple of months ago in Louisiana, in response to the floods.   Kornahrens said “We know that as this program is used by more damage assessment staff that the benefits will be instantly experienced.” 

Training took only 90 minutes for the team to understand how to use the program.  Following the training the team went to the field and quickly started entering data.  The process appeared easy and well received. 


Photo Credit: Bob Wallace/American Red Cross





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